Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Mother's Day Weekend 2018

My Mother's Day weekend was pretty wonderful. I enjoyed all the special gifts from my boys, all the quality time I got to spend with my guys, and all the special little celebrations with family. It was a great weekend start to finish.

We kicked things off Friday afternoon as soon as we got home from school. Terrell planned for us to grill out and swim and have a fun night together at home. The boys have been asking to swim almost every single day after school but we've just had too many practices and games to have time. So Friday afternoon and evening we made the most of our night off!

The first thing I did was sit down to read. Ahhh. The best. Of course I made it through approximately 2 paragraphs before someone was begging me to get in the pool. Haha. But that's okay, it was hot anyway. 😊 This book is different than her other ones I've read but I'm really enjoying it so far. 

The boys and I had such a great time together waiting for daddy to get home and finished with work. (He was actually home a little early but had to keep "working" taking phone calls/writing emails, until quite a while later.) But we had so much fun. The water was pretty perfect temperature wise so we loved it!

Then we all swam together once daddy joined us!

Annnd, since we got the piece to our table we needed, Terrell got all the chairs put together and we ate outside!! I think that made my weekend. It was the best!! Terrell grilled us hamburgers and hotdogs and we had chips and pickles and it was pretty much the perfect night. 


The deck is now 100% finished, we'll be getting an umbrella for the table soon, my lounge chairs should be here by this weekend, and now I have to pick out something else to go on the lower deck with the grill. I am so excited about enjoying our deck, backyard, and pool lots and lots this summer!! 

We were able to sleep in a little on Saturday morning and when I woke up I decided to lay in bed a while and scroll fb.... and look what was there! Spring of 2011 with mama, daddy, 2 year old Garrison, and Austin growing in my belly. Such a sweet memory!
 After getting up Saturday morning we all got ready to go our separate ways for different ball games. Garrison's last soccer game of the season and Austin's and Layton's last baseball game of the season ended up being scheduled for the exact same time last minute. So I went with Garrison while Terrell, Austin, and Layton went to the t-ball field. Garrison had a GREAT game and his team won their 3rd game of the season! It was awesome seeing them play their best game ever. And we actually got to see Austin and Layton play the end of their game too! They lost a good one but we all enjoyed ice cream at DQ with the team afterwards. 😊

Then we went home and all showered and got ready for our night out with Terrell's side of the fam to celebrate Mother's Day. We met up with his sister and her family at the half-way point and had a fun dinner together. And we managed a big family selfie too! 

Terrell with his mom and sister...

And Nana with her grands....

Saturday night we stopped to buy groceries on the way home and then crashed after our full day. It was a great Saturday. 

Sunday morning we slept in as late as a Sunday morning would allow (while the boys played and ran around the house unattended playing some kind of version of hide and seek dodgeball?, haha), and after a crazy morning trying to get ready for church, we made it out the door. And here's my annual picture of me with my boys on Mother's Day. So blessed to be their mama!!
And a quick look back at Mother's Day past with my babies.... and my changing hairstyles. Hahaha!

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012



2011

2010

They grow so fast! So fast that my BABY is about to graduate preschool and start big school after this summer! I can hardly believe how fast childhood flies. 

We had a busy morning on the preschool hall but I got some fun messages from my littlest! Haha!!

Photo bomber. 😊

Sunday after church we came home to change clothes and I gathered up all of my goodies from my boys. They made things at school and at church that were so sweet. Every single one was special and made me feel super loved. 

Once we were all changed it was time to head to Granna's to celebrate! I think this picture turned out really good of Granna and her grands. 😊

And then a couple of me and my sister (plus Harlie!) with our mom. 


Then these 4. #hearteyesfordays

After a fun and delicious meal with my mom's side of the family we loaded up our crew and went over to my Nanny's house for the rest of the afternoon. We had a sweet visit with her catching up and letting the boys eat ice cream and play before coming home for swimming! My to-do list was real despite it being Mother's Day so we let the boys swim (they'd been begging to go) while I made lunches for the week and laid out my clothes for the week. It was peaceful and quiet and my view was my FAVORITE. 


We wrapped up the night together watching Atlanta United play a great game and come away with the win. It was the best. We enjoyed the whole weekend and I do not take for granted my blessings and gifts in my boys, my mom, mother-in-law, and grandmothers. He's a good, good Father.

Have a great Tuesday! Counting down to summer something serious over here!!

Friday, May 11, 2018

A Few of My Favorite Things About being Their Mom

HAPPY FRIDAY!! #allthepraisehands

Mother's Day weekend is here! Everything kicks off this morning with fun things at school and then we have a jam-packed weekend of celebrating with our moms and grandmothers. But first, I just have to document a few of my favorite things about being mama to my 3 little men. 😊

*They make me laugh a LOT. Life is never dull or boring and they crack me up daily. I'm very thankful that I live with FOUR fun loving, full of life guys. Laughter is a regular thing here and I love it. 

*Their love of books and reading is my favorite!! We started reading to them as babies and it grew from there. They love being read to, reading to us, visiting the library, and they all keep books in their beds at all times. Even Garrison still enjoys us reading a chapter of his book to him. I'm so grateful they all enjoy the hobby of reading!

*Their relationships and friendships with each other is the best thing ever. Yes they fight and bicker/yell (haha) a lot, but they love each other so much and do almost everything together. They have tons in common and are just super close. I am so thankful for the gift of friendship, loyalty, and unconditional love they have in each other. I pray they are always, always close.


*The way they love me (and their daddy) melts me. The saying is true... boys really do LOVE their mamas. The way they love me is the sweetest, most special thing. And their bond with Terrell is so special to me too. We didn't know when we started our family that God planned 3 little boys for us, but we are so glad he did. Their love is priceless.

*Their hard work and effort at school is pretty amazing. I have been so proud of my big boys and the way they are motivated to do their best and eager to learn more and more. And Layton has done awesome with preschool this year. I love watching them learn and their excitement over achieving something they've worked hard for.

*Their eyes, smiles, and freckles are precious and adorable. Doesn't every mom think the faces of their children are the best!? They can sure melt my heart with their eyes and eyelashes, sweet smiles, and the sprinkling of freckles they all have. 😊

*I love their love of sports and sharing the fun and excitement of being a sports fan with them! And of course watching them play sports is super fun and one of my very favorite things. Watching sports on TV and going to see our favorite teams in person is a huuuge favorite for all of us and I love that we can all enjoy it together (and I'm not left out.... haha!).

*I LOVE them asking me to pray for them. Oh my heart! They know I am always, ALWAYS willing to pray for them and with them. Whenever anyone is worried or nervous or has something bothering them or is feeling afraid, ANYTHING, I always suggest we pray about it. And I'm praying that turning to Jesus first is something we're instilling in them now. Praying for them and with them is such a special blessing. What a friend we have in Jesus! 

*I love that they all still want to sit in my lap or be held from time to time. Layton and Austin a little more often than Garrison, but even Garrison, who is almost as big as me still asks to sit in my lap every now and then. I mean! Those opportunities are limited because he's growing so fast and getting so big. It's pretty sweet to still be needed for lap-sitting and holding. 

*They way they love our families is extra special. They all have a sweet, sweet relationship with Piper and love her to the moon, and they are all close to their grandparents. Whenever we go out to eat they always ask who's coming with us and they're disappointed if we go by ourselves. Haha. Family is special and they already see the value and importance of it. 

Thank you Lord for the precious boys you gave me. May we raise them in the nurture and admonition of Jesus.

Happy Friday and Happy Mother's Day Weekend! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

May Days

1. WE ARE IN OUR FINAL WEEKS OF SCHOOL! I'VE ALMOST MADE IT!!! (I felt the need to shout. Hahaha.) God's grace has been soo amazing during my first year back in the classroom, and my first time EVER as a full time working mom. I can't believe we're about to wrap up this school year and welcome summer. It's crawled by.... and yet it's flown by. It's bittersweet to see my school babies go, but I am so thankful I'VE ALMOST MADE IT!! 😊 

2. Our sports seasons are winding down. We have 1 more baseball game left (plus All-Stars... which I have mixed emotions about) and 1 more soccer game left, plus a tournament. I love watching my boys play sports they love, and every year it's super fun and exciting, but every year it's also exhausting and crazy. So we're looking forward to the off season! 

3. We are continuing to enjoy our pool and can't wait for some lazy summer days to really make the most of our new backyard. We've been able to get in, or at least let the boys swim, on school nights/afternoons just a few times. It's just hard to find the time in the midst of school and sports. So summer days on the horizon make us super excited!!

4. We are still in the final stages of finalizing our backyard project. The only things left are small finishes to the deck, and making our final decisions and purchases of furniture. The table and chairs we ordered have been here for a while but a piece of the table was broken so now we're waiting on a new one. We also need a new grill since we just got rid of ours at our yard sale over the weekend. Annnd we're still waiting to order/pick out our lounge chairs and a couple of other "furniture pieces" for the lower level of the deck. Once everything is completely done I want to write a blog about the whole process start to finish with pictures and everything. It's still such a dream come true for me that I really want to document all of it! 😊

5. It's Teacher Appreciation week! Yay for teachers!! I finally finished the teacher baskets and thank you cards I'm giving the big boys' teachers. Next, I have to write the notes and get things together for Layton's teachers. This year we have 6 teachers we're appreciating and we love them all! I am so thankful for these special ladies and the ways they've supported, loved on, and taught my boys. They are each very special to us. 

6. I am in the process of planning my class's "End of Year" Program. Eeeesh! My first time!! In Pre-K, each teacher plans a little program for the parents to be held in their classrooms during the last week of school, and because Pre-K is students' first big school experience, it's kind of a big deal! So far I've finalized the songs we're going to sing and decided on an individual award for each student in my class.... so that's a variety of 22 different awards based on various academic, personality, or behavior strengths. Phew! Glad I got that done. Now I just need to fill in/type up the awards and print them and decide on the order of our program.... and whether or not to type something up for the parents so they'll have a "program" for our program. I also need to finalize the food we'll eat after the program. (Most Pre-K teachers have a few snacks to celebrate afterwards.) And last but not least, I need to finish the slideshow. The slideshow is my biggest challenge so far as I am not tech savvy and have never created a slideshow-movie before. So. Hopefully I can pull it off and it will be sweet and special and wonderful, not incomplete and a mess and a major teacher-fail. #prayforme #slideshowsarechallenging

7. Mother's Day weekend is this weekend! It's one of our busiest weekends of the whole year. Haha. We have a lot planned but are looking forward to all the fun celebrations we'll get to enjoy. I am so grateful for my mom, mother-in-law, grandmothers, and of course being mama to my boys. It's a full weekend but super special.

8. Coming up: Garrison's Field Day is today and he has a field trip next week. Austin's big Kindergarten program is in 2 weeks and so is his party. Layton's party is next week, his graduation is the next, and he has "bike day" on the last day of school. My end of year parent conferences are happening now. So are Mother's Day crafts/gifts. So is program prep. Plus we still have our final games of the season coming up along with our end of season parties/banquets. I am trying to keep my calendar straight but it's all starting to run together. Craziness is my life right now. Haha.

9. We are finally starting to think about summer plans. And by plans I mean camps and swim lessons. So far we've narrowed down our ideas and preferences and done some research but nothing has been finalized just yet. We aren't big on attending camps all summer or filling every second of our time with things to do. So less is more come summertime. In fact, way less is WAY more. Especially after this school year. Mama needs a break! So we'll think on it, pray on it, and see what works out and go from there. (Terrell and I also have an anniversary trip to get ready for! Plus we're looking forward to our week at SGI with the fam.) We can't wait for summer!!

10. May is fun. May is exhausting. May is mayhem. Hahaha. Honestly I just want to enjoy what I can of these May days, make memories, and rest every chance I get. 😊

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sunday-Funday

Sunday afternoon was the best. The BEST. 😊

 Sunday morning, on the other hand, was a different story. We had a rough time trying to get out of the house for church and our attitudes weren't that great. The boys were whining and complaining about their clothes, their shoes, their life. It was just peachy. But we got our hearts right once we were there, enjoyed our morning of fellowship and discipleship, and came home to enjoy our first bright, sunny, beautiful Sunday afternoon in weeks! I think it's rained here every single Sunday since Easter. So we were stoked about the pretty weather!!

As soon as we finished lunch, Terrell went outside to help his dad finish up our deck. We are soooo close to having it 100% complete!! #alltheclappinghands And the boys went out to play. They were thrilled about an afternoon to do whatever they wanted. So they played outside for a stretch and then came in to watch some of the Braves games, while I did some cleaning. It was peaceful and pleasant and the best. I even took a break to sit down and read. Yay. 

The boys were in and out between playing outside and watching the Braves, I did laundry and cleaned a bathroom and then we all ended up outside. In our backyard. IN THE POOL!! Our first family swim! Squeal!!!!!!

Terrell and his dad finished up with the deck (there's only like 2% work to go!) and then Terrell started putting together our table for the deck where looking forward to sharing lots of poolside meals, and then the boys swam. We even got out some of our new pool toys (that the boys actually got for Christmas) and Garrison and Austin swam while Layton stayed on the steps or threw them balls and then retrieved the balls they threw out. 

Then, because it was hot and sunny and gorgeous, and a certain 4 year old was begging me to get in with him, I took the plunge! Haha. The pool water temp was 74 degrees (highest ever), so still chilly but not unbearable... and after deciding I couldn't handle the torture of entering one step at a time and trying to "adjust" to the water, I jumped. Which was so much easier and not torture at all! 

Notice who's not with me? The 4 year old who begged me to swim with him. Hahaha. It was too cold for Layton Thomas to be fully immersed so he decided he was satisfied with the steps and throwing and catching balls and Frisbees that'd been in water. 😊


Once Terrell finished with our table, he decided to swim too. We had soo much fun. And it was crazy that we were in our own backyard!! I told Terrell I could hardly believe it. My heart was so happy and full! It's OURS I said! Our dream! 😊😊😊



We had the best time. We jumped off the diving board, played with pool toys, and I swam the perimeter and did my laps. Haha. 

Terrell made this picture of us from the deck and you can see just a little of our railing. We're in love!! All we need now is to make the finishing touches on the deck and get rest of our furniture! 

I put off making lunches for the week and finishing (and even sacrificing) some of my Sunday chores in the name of fun and enjoying our first family swim. And it was totally worth it and didn't even stress me out. #woohoo It was the perfect preview of summer and we are soo excited!

And because state testing for our 3rd grader began today, we got the kiddos ready for bed early and even read to or with everybody beforehand. It'd been a long time since we'd prioritized reading together before bed. Since Spring Break we've been a little behind on our bedtime routine. Summer is on the brain I guess. Plus the boys begging to watch one more inning of the Braves. 

But this was the perfect way to wrap up our Sunday-Funday. Reading, prayers, and everyone going to sleep fast. It was the best day. 😊

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

More and Less: March and April Edition

So last month I didn't get around to updating how things were going. On purpose. March was a doozy. And I pretty much did terrible with more and less.

It all started with not being able to run/walk for exercise. Boo! My heels and feet became so sore that it hurt to walk up and down the stairs in my house. I was sore for weeks before it finally went away and I felt back to normal. And my best guess is that is had something to do with my shoes and needing a new pair that's more specific to my feet and walking/running. Annnnnd, that hasn't happened yet. So I've basically been in-active for the past 2 months. *BIG sigh* But hopefully that will change with swimming weather coming soon! And I really do want to eventually find the right pair of shoes.

I also started eating more sweets and going to bed a tad later. Our sports season got me! Plus my sweet tooth! Ugh. I blogged less and skipped more quiet times in the morning than I care to admit.

Basically it just wasn't something I wanted to write about. #Marchfail

The positive in March was I did really well putting my phone away. I can count on one hand the times I got on my phone in the evenings for the whole month. I just didn't have time for it, was super tired and/or busy, and didn't keep it "on" me constantly. So that was pretty awesome... but the only highlight for March.

April has been a little better. In some areas. Ha. Here are the details...

MORE....

*Going to bed early. This one has been inconsistent at best. With week-night ball games and practices and a busier schedule in general, our bedtimes have suffered. I don't think my kids have been in bed before 8:00 since pre-Spring Break. I try to keep my 10:00 goal in mind, but some nights it just isn't possible, not without neglecting all of my responsibilities, and some nights I end up staying up too late in bed reading. So I really need to get back on track with going to bed early. I'm not sure it's realistic here at the end of the school year but that's why I need to try.... things are busy and exhausting right now! Haha! 

*Cleaning during the week. I'm not sure how to "assess" myself here. On game nights we don't do much of anything in the way of house cleaning. We're home for a stretch in the afternoon and home for baths and bedtime sort of late, and that's about it. On non-game nights I usually vacuum. I don't know when I became obsessed (using the word "obsessed" loosely here) with vacuuming, but I want to vacuum the kitchen after every meal. And if I have time and the living room is "picked up" then I'll also do the living room, and probably our bedroom too. The vacuum is out a LOT. And happens regularly. So does clean up of toys, baseball cards, beyblades, and anything else the boys have out. (Which we make them put away.) But other cleaning happens mostly on the weekends. And for now, I'm fine with that. I just don't have the time or will/energy to do it during the week after my regular chores of supper, kitchen clean-up, vacuuming crumbs and such, and packing lunches. Although this week I did manage to dust one piece of furniture (it was driving me crazy) and I windex-ed one mirror (it was also driving me crazy), so that has to count for something. 😊

*Praying and time with the Lord. I'm doing so-so with this. The biggest hurdle has been making my quiet time a priority every morning. Some mornings I've slept a little later, some mornings I'm slower getting ready so I don't feel like I have time, and some mornings I'm just lazy/selfish. Those are all excuses and things I need to work on but I also know that whether I'm reading my devotion each morning or not, most of my mornings before anyone else is awake are spent with Jesus. I'm praying and talking to Him off and on while I shower and get ready. I do want and need to spend more time in the Word next month.  

*Physical Activity. Zilch. Zero. Nada. Nothing. Does carrying Layton up and down the stairs once a day count? He usually asks me to carry him downstairs on school mornings and he sometimes requests I carry him upstairs for bedtime. I'm hoping to get "fitted"(?) for shoes at some point so I can get back to walking the neighborhood and I'm hoping to swim a lot of laps this summer. 😊

*Blogging. I continued. Haha. That's my only goal until I wrap up this school year. 

LESS...

*Time on my phone. I've formed some good habits! I don't automatically check my phone/look at my phone in the car (when I'm a passenger of course), I put it away in the evenings, and I get on FB even less than before (which was never a daily "addiction" for me). So I think I'm going in the right direction! I still need to work on not keeping it with me every second, and *trying* not be on it when I'm with my kiddos. Setting an example for them and limiting our "technology time" as a family is really important to me and my main motivation. So I'm pretty thankful for my progress so far. 


*Sweets. Ummmm, I don't even get an E for Effort this month. I blame the Easter candy and being tired. Haha. I haven't had the energy to fight the sweet tooth!! But it's time to get back on track. Swimsuit season is around the corner!

*Being overwhelmed. This month has been a success! We've been busy and things at school are starting to get pretty crazy but so far I'm keeping my cool and haven't panicked. #Praise!! I'm praying this attitude and peace of mind continues throughout May because our calendar is filling up and May is possibly our busiest month of the entire year. This particular goal feels the most out of my control but also the most important. God's grace is so abundant!

So that's a wrap on how more and less went in March and April. I have to lot to improve on! Even though it isn't May yet, I'm going to try to start fresh today. 😊

Happy Friday Eve!!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday Favorites: A Busy Week in Spring

It's Friday! Woohoo!! This teacher-mama is tired and looking forward to the weekend!! 😊

This week I tried to be really intentional about making pictures and documenting regular life. I miss not being able to blog as often, but for now, during another super busy part of the school year, this is about all I can do. So here's a look at my faves from a busy week in Spring...

*I'm not even sure this picture was taken this week... it may have been last week.... but these 2 sibling-like cousins getting to play together at Granna's is always a favorite. They are so much like brother and sister and it's the funniest, cutest thing.

*Our t-ball team pictures came in and I'm in love. Of course my babies are my favorite but I love all of these boys. We are having such a fun season!

*We went out to celebrate my mom's birthday on Saturday night and when we got ready to leave, Piper requested Garrison ride home with her... so then Austin wanted to ride home with her, and then Layton wanted to ride home with somebody..... and then we had a dilemma on our hands until we worked it out by letting the big boys ride home on either side of Piper with AnAn and Frankie, and Layton got to ride home with Granna and Papa. So guess what that meant? Terrell and I had a mini-date! Hahahaha! Terrell joked and said we were going to go 35 the whole way home. We enjoyed talking without interruption or backseat drama for 25 whole minutes. 😊

*And Anna sent me this pic of their backseat.... they were actually in Frankie's truck. Haha! 

*Sunday morning pre-church play time with a pause to watch ESPN's Top 10. Haha! Oh my boys and their love of all sports. 

*Layton brought down some of his "building/equipment" toys and pulled out the gears and told me he was building a pool. 😊 I thought it turned out perfect!

*Monday night, Garrison and I actually had the night off while the littles went with daddy to baseball practice. It was so nice to stay in and have some quality time with my oldest. We read and watched the Braves and enjoyed our laid back evening.

*Then he came and sat with me on the couch to watch the game.... and it called for a selfie. 😊

*Tuesday afternoon the boys enjoyed their first popsicles of the season! All we had were banana flavored... they weren't huge fans but took what they could get. Ha!

*While I cooked Tuesday night, I loved my backyard view so much. The boys played soccer and Terrell cleaned the pool and we just enjoyed our night off.

*Garrison came home this week with his latest art project from school and I loved it! When I read that he chose to fly to Hawaii and visit a volcano and the beach I decided it was even more special. Maybe we'll take the fam one day and he'll get to experience it. 😊 He is really enjoying art this year and loves his teacher. 3rd grade has been pretty awesome. 

*Terrell was home one day for lunch this week and sent me this picture of our pool. He is the best pool guy ever by the way. I love and appreciate the way he's taken charge of making sure it's perfect.

*And later that night we enjoyed a summer preview! Our night by the pool was so fun! The water temp was the highest it's even been so the kids got wet and played baseball and tried hitting and throwing the ball over the water. 

*We also had our first poolside time-out. Haha. Pool rules are serious business.

*Garrison actually got in and swam/played off and on. We can't wait until warmer weather arrives and stays!

*This weekend we're dog-sitting for my parents and Emma has already made herself right at home. The boys were cracking up at her sitting at the computer yesterday afternoon. Haha!

*Favorite Not-Pictured Moments: Our impromptu family meeting earlier this week during supper. It wasn't planned but somehow it happened and it was really needed. We talked a lot about pool rules and safety, but also the importance of listening the first time, no matter what. Honestly I think we've just gotten lazy and let some things slide that we shouldn't have. So we let the boys know about our convictions and the "why" behind certain things.... rules, consequences, trust, "rewards", etc. and it went really, really well. Layton didn't grasp everything but he got the general idea. And the big boys handled our big discussion (and it was a discussion, not a lecture) well. I was very thankful for how smoothly it went and how God led us to our little family meeting. 

And... direct quote here...."Since Emma is spending the night with us, can we get doughnuts in the morning?" -Layton Selph (HAHAHA!!!!) 

This weekend we are looking forward to another t-ball game, celebrating Pops' birthday, and sleeping later!! I also need to tackle some "chores" around the house, grocery shopping, and school work. So it won't be a lazy weekend but we're still planning to enjoy some downtime and extra rest. #praise Happy Friday, Happy Weekend!!